Should I Report Unsafe Truck Drivers?
July 27th, 2018
We have seen the number of truck drivers on the road increase substantially due to factors such as a growing economy and increased fracking in South Texas. With an increase of 18-wheelers on the road, unfortunately comes an increase of accidents. There are an estimated half-a-million truck accidents in the United States every year. In 2016, 4,440 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes according to a report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association. Additionally, there were an estimated 119,000 injury crashes in 2016. This year a jury hit Werner—the largest trucking company in the United States—with a 90-million-dollar verdict right here in Houston, Texas (in part) for engaging in unsafe company-wide practices and policies. With the number of serious truck accidents on the rise it is very important that motorists and other truck drivers assist by reporting unsafe truck drivers and trucking companies.
How Do I Report an Unsafe Truck Driver?
If you are on the road and observe a truck driver operating an 18-wheeler in an unsafe or erratic manner, you should do the following:
- Pull off the road where it is safe to do so;
- Call 911 and report the truck’s actions to the local authorities;
- Report the truck to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after you reach your destination.
Reporting Drivers to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) is the national body that governs trucks involved in interstate trucking vs intrastate trucking. It is part of the Department of Transportation. In order to make it easy for you to report an unsafe driver, they have created a toll-free hotline that you can call: 1-888-DOT-SAFT 9#68-7238). This number is manned Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm eastern standard time. You can also file a report online so long as the event you are reporting occurred within the past 60 days. If you would prefer to file a report in person, you may visit your state’s local and field offices during normal business hours to file a complaint.
The National Consumer Complaint Database
The Department of Transportation maintains a database of all of the consumer complaints against operators of commercial motor vehicles. When you file a complaint by either calling in or submitting an online report, the complaint is stored in the database for future reference. The database also allows for anonymous reporting by truck drivers and other employees of trucking companies that commit habitual violations or ask their employees to do so. These reports may also be filed by following the “file a report online” instructions above.
The importance of this database is that it allows the Department of Transportation to monitor trucking companies and the drivers they employ so as to identify and put a stop to those that are habitual violators of the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations. By reporting unsafe drivers, you could be helping to prevent repeat violators from getting back out on the road and hurting someone else.
Free Consultations Regarding Truck Accidents
If you have been injured by the negligent actions of a truck driver or a trucking company, call us for a free consultation at 1-800-298-0111. Every state has a different set of laws pertaining to intrastate trucks. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., our national truck accident lawyers are happy to discuss your case with you. The best part is, if we take on your case, we do not charge you a dime unless we make a recovery for you. Call now.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.